King Amenhotep III as a Lion

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 18 July 2016

This statue declares the king's might by representing him as a lion. Pharaohs were often shown as a sphinx, with the body of a lion, but the full lion image is rare. An inscription on the chest, added by Amenhotep IV, calls the king a "lion of the rulers, wild when he sees his enemies tread his path". The sculpture was famed for its realistic anatomical detail and departure from the frontality of most Egyptian statues. The eyes were originally inlaid. Amenhotep III commissioned the lion sculptures for the temple of Amun-Ra at Soleb in Upper Nubia, in the conquered former kingdom if Kush. The next king, Amenhotep IV (later called Akhenaten), ensured that these sculptures reached Soleb, after his father's untimely death. In the text on the base, Amenhotep is honored by his grandson, Tutankhamun. A thousand years later, the statues so impressed the Kushite ruler, Amanislo, that her moved them 500 kilometers south to the city of Napata. Here, Amanislo's name appear on the lion's left foreleg. 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, 1390-1352 BCE. From Napata (Gebel Barkal, Sudan); originally from Soleb (Sudan). (The British Museum, London).



About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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